Late last week, EMI promoted its president of music services, Ron Werre, to COO. Werre, it turns out had allegedly promised to join Sony Music and inked a $3 million deal with the label. Sony has now sued EMI and Werre, claiming that he used his Sony contract as leverage to score a promotion at EMI.
Billboard: Sony charged that Werre…agreed in February to join Sony on a three-year deal after his contract expired in 2010, according to documents filed at the Supreme Court of New York…
Sony, home to acts like Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Kelly Clarkson, said it had intended to appoint Werre as its new president of commercial music and had already fired the incumbent president in anticipation of the appointment.
“Werre never intended to fulfil his contractual obligations to Sony Music, but was merely using his contract with Sony Music as a stalking horse to solicit a more lucrative contract from EMI with enhanced job responsibilities,” the suit said.
Sony, the world’s second largest music company, claims EMI was aware of its plans to hire Werre. It charged that after Werre had agreed to join Sony, EMI contacted Sony Music Chief Executive Officer Rolf Schmidt-Holtz asking for Werre’s new contract to be scrapped.
It said around the same time Werre himself informed another executive at Sony that he had changed his mind and would stay with EMI under a new contract.
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